Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Promotion of electronic cigarettes

NICE guidance does not currently recommend e-cigarettes

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 21 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g315
  1. Michael P Kelly, director, NICE Centre for Public Health1
  1. 1National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), London SW1A 2BU, UK
  1. tonya.gillis{at}

De Andrade and colleagues’ article quotes an incorrect claim from an electronic cigarette website.1 This quote says that National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance recommends e-cigarettes: “Companies are weaving public health pronouncements into marketing campaigns. An e-cigarette Facebook page stated: ‘NICE has become the first public institution to recommend the electronic cigarette for smokers who cannot quit.’”

I would like to clarify that this is not correct. NICE guidance on tobacco harm reduction recommends that health professionals offer only licensed nicotine containing products to people who smoke as part of a harm reduction strategy.2 Nicotine replacement products that are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)—such as patches and gum—are safe, effective, and quality assured. No e-cigarettes have been licensed by MHRA, so none are currently recommended by NICE.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g315


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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